German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the White House on Friday, where she met with President Trump. The two did not shake hands.
During a photo-op in the Oval Office, both Merkel and Trump sat stoically and silently while members the press took their picture. When asked what they discussed, Trump would only say, “Many things.” The two didn’t shake hands once during the photo-op despite reporters and photographers asking them to. Merkel even made a disgusted face when a reporter asked her to shake Trump’s hand, and continued to keep both hands in her lap.
Both Chancellor Merkel and President Trump likely disagreed on Trump’s immigration-related executive orders banning immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries, given Merkel’s record of opening up Germany’s borders to 800,000 refugees from war-torn nations affected by Trump’s Muslim immigration ban, like Syria and Iraq. Both Merkel and Theresa May — the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom — publicly criticized President Trump’s initial travel ban on the grounds that it unfairly discriminated against Muslims, refugees, and people of certain nationalities.
“[The Trump administration] in my view runs counter to the basic idea of international refugee aid and to international cooperation,” Merkel told reporters in January.
However, the following year, the German Chancellor admitted that her administration made “mistakes” in its refugee admission process and would have done things differently during the height of the refugee crisis in 2015.
This isn’t the first handshake-related controversy between Trump and a world leader. Earlier this year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to hesitate before shaking Trump’s hand during his meeting with the billionaire reality TV personality-turned-president in the Oval Office.
Watch video of the moment below, courtesy of The Hill:
President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reject calls to shake hands during photo-op in Oval Office.
Jamie Green is a contributor for the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.